I have been working and performing as a professional storyteller since 2012, delivering engaging storytelling performances and workshops for schools, museums, festivals, community events, private parties and more. I have performed across the UK and internationally, and have delivered live virtual storytelling sessions to enable covid secure delivery when required.
When I was a kid, the natural world was all that mattered to me. My closest friends tended to have scales, fur, feathers or slime! Of course, I eventually learned to like humans too, but the natural world has always remained a huge part of my life and work.
When I left school, my first jobs were in ornamental aquatics and pet shops. Through a fortunate series of events, this to lead to a six year career working in zoological parks and public aquaria, caring for dolphins and sealions. Eventually my hunger to know more kicked in and I returned to full time education to pursue a degree in marine biology and then a post grad in Zoology.
I spent a couple of years undertaking biological research before yearning for the wide open spaces of Wales once more. I took up employment as a warden with Brecon Beacons National Park, getting involved in land management, conservation, providing visitor services and educational visits. At the same time I was attending night school to achieve my FE teaching certificate.
Understanding the importance of balancing environmental, heritage and community needs was central to my work with the national park. Inevitably, engagement with communities led to supporting the work of community groups, opening the doorway to my 15+ years in social enterprise support. My awakening to the use of storytelling referred to on the home page was a direct result of my community work.
The myths, legends and folk tales of my home in Wales are the foundation stone of my storytelling, but today my repertoire, whilst strongly rooted in Wales, includes broader and more global perspectives.
I have been proud to be involved with various storytelling projects, including work with refugees and asylum seekers, museum interpretation projects and pioneering work that integrated BSL for mixed hearing and deaf audiences.
I have performed at storytelling festivals, the international Eisteddfod in Llangollen and undertook a tour of international schools in China with Panawakke in 2019.
I embrace opportunities for my storytelling to grow and evolve in response to our changing world and changing needs. Like many, the onset of a global pandemic gave me pause for thought. In 2020 I came to a realisation that I had a whole skill set from my previous careers that I wasn't fully utilising in my work as a storyteller. Now, the environmental application of stories has become a strong focus.
Embracing my full skill set, I initiated a series of discussions with other storytellers during 'lockdown' to investigate how storytelling can achieve greater impact on environmental issues. This continues to be a fascinating process, and has generated some useful insights into the subtle yet potent way storytelling can support change. If you'd like to know more, you can download my free e-book entitled on Impactful storytelling in a time of Ecological upheaval or visit Connection - Storytelling for Change.